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Last Updated: Sunday, 27 May 2007, 17:04 GMT 18:04 UK
Libya clears medics of defamation
Condemned Bulgarian nurses and Palestinian doctor
The six medics still face the death penalty after their earlier conviction
A Libyan court has dismissed defamation charges against five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor already sentenced to death in a separate trial.

The six have been convicted for infecting 426 Libyan children with HIV, the virus that causes Aids.

They had also been charged with defaming police officers and a doctor by accusing them of torture during investigations into their case.

The foreign medics say their confessions were given under duress.

The six have already spent eight years in prison. During a retrial in 2006, they said prosecution evidence had been obtained under torture.

They said they had been mistreated by several police officers, including a police officer, Juma al-Mishri and a doctor, Abdulmajid al-Shoul.

The two men then sued, claiming 5m Libyan dollars ($4m) in compensation.

The six medics had denied the defamation charges.

The court did not give any reason for its ruling in a short hearing at which the medics were not present.

Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov described the latest verdict as a good sign.

The six are due to launch a final appeal against their death sentences shortly.




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